DAY #14: The Conflict of Flesh Versus the Spirit – by Mn. Corey J. Jones, M. Div. | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Friday, June 14, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #14:  The Conflict of Flesh Versus the Spirit 



Today’s Lesson by Min. Corey J. Jones

In Chapter 8 of Winning the Battle for Your Mind: A Biblical Approach to Renewing Your Mind, Pastor Hudson, does an excellent job of explaining how our minds are a battlefield. Imagine a tug of war, except instead of the competition being horizontal, it is vertical. On one side, your spirit is striving to pull you upward toward God; on the other side, your flesh is striving to pull you into sin, death, hell, and the grave.

It is essential that we feed our inner man (spirit). Renewing our minds is the key to victorious living and winning the battle for our mind. Since we can have both holy thoughts and sinful thoughts, we must read and meditate on the Word of God, which is our guiding truth. Scripture is the measure by which we can evaluate our mind, will, and emotions.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

To do so, there are spiritual disciplines that will establish and improve our effectiveness in taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Dr. Hudson described how prolonged periods of failing to pray, worship, or receive the Word result in the flesh nature gaining strength, leading to ungodly thoughts and/or feelings of despair.

To aid in ensuring that you do not lapse in any of those activities, one must practice self-awareness. Understand that the enemy is sneaky and strives to use things like fatigue, isolation, lack of devotion, and even idle time to present opportunities for the flesh. Walking in the spirit is a daily task. When paired with self-awareness and intentionality, we grow through essential spiritual disciplines, and we will be victorious!

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. What are your go-to scriptures for combating temptation?

2. How often do you spend time with God Daily?

3. Do you have specific prayer times in your weekly routine?

4. Which spiritual discipline would you like to improve upon?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #13: Practice Solitude, Slow Down, Stop the Noise | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing Your Mind”

Thursday, June 13, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #13: Practice Solitude, Slow Down, Stop the Noise


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Six ~ Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind
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Today’s Lesson

Isaiah 30:15, For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.“  But you would not, 16] and you said, “No, for we will flee on horse”--therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”--therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!

We live in a noisy world. This noise pervades and invades every space, including our minds.

When I received Jesus as Lord and Savior on July 8, 1978, the first thing I noticed was that the noise in my head stopped. That noise seemed like a combination of static, thoughts of self-hatred, voices, and random sounds. When the Spirit of Christ entered my life that noise ceased.
Today, as Christ followers, we deal with a different type of noise. It is the noise of all the things that are irrelevant, self-condemning, distracting, troubling and more. The difference between the “noise” in my life then and now is that I can deal with it –– if I choose to do so.

1 Corinthians 3:17 reads, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” There will be no noise when the Spirit of the Lord is in control.

Let me suggest that you discover SOLITUDE if you have not already discovered it. Jesus practiced solitude regularly as part of His lifestyle. You will notice that He would send people away to go into solitude and pray. (Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46–47; John 6:15). The Apostle Paul began his ministry in solitude for about three years. (Galatians 1:11–20)

Our Scripture text today, speaks of God advising His people as follows: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” 

But they were too “busy” to take God's advice. Their response: “But you would not, and you said, ‘No, for we will flee on horses’--therefore you shall flee!”

Rather than slow down, they went faster. The thing with noise and busy-ness is this: It never helps you, it only overcomes and defeats you. “...therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!”

Slow down. Get alone with God. Stop the noise in His presence. Practicing solitude is a discipline of a renewed mind.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: 

1. What is solitude and do you practice it?

2. What good things happen when you slow down and get alone with God?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #12: Be A Next Level Thinker | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing Your Mind”

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Firm Foundation Inspiration Minute #122
DAY #12 of Renewing Your Mind Devotional:  
“Be A Next Level Thinker”  


Devotional reading from“Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Two ~ A Biblical View of Human Nature
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OR LISTEN BELOW


Listen to My Message From Sunday, June 9, 2024


Today's Lesson (written):

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

The mind of Christ represents grace to share in the thoughts, plans and motives of God.

Paul identifies two kinds of people. Locate yourself:

There is the person who is pneumatikos. Pneuma is the word for Spirit. The person who is pneumatikos is sensitive to the Spirit and whose life is guided by the Spirit.
Pneuma is that which makes a man different from the rest of creation.

In 1 Cor. 2:14 Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things.

This is why the work of renewing the mind is so essential. We cannot have the mind of Christ apart from renewing our mind.

Jesus' Disciples only searched their minds for the answer

Peter went into next level thinking

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter had the Mind of Christ - Next Level Thinking

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. What is the Mind of Christ?

2. What does next level thinking look like to you?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):

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via Zoom with Min. Corey J. Jones, M.Div.




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DAY #11: Triumph Over Bad Thinking & Feeling | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #11: Triumph Over Bad Thinking & Feeling


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Four ~ Problems We Have With Our Minds
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Today’s Lesson

Corinthians 2:14, Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

There are many types of problems that are rooted in our behaviors and thinking. It is important not to underestimate the grace and wisdom of God when facing difficulties. This is not to exclude getting help from others, but to encourage us to never leave God outside of the problems we face. 

Being transformed by the renewing of the mind brings victory over many types of problems that come from how we think. Expect freedom and mastery over the following problems:

Heaviness: A depressed feeling caused by thinking on bad situations, having regrets, reviewing mistakes or dwelling on relationships that have gone sour.

Evil thoughts: Sinful thoughts of all types including sexual fantasies, malice or dishonest schemes

Vain imaginations: Completely useless thinking such as wondering what it would be like to live one’s life as another person.

Envy/Jealousy: Being grieved at the success of others or becoming too possessive of others.

Comparisons: Making value judgments about yourself based upon what others have or have not done.

Fear: Living in expectation of danger and harm

Distractions: Getting easily side-tracked from important tasks by unimportant issues and events.

Presumption: Prematurely forming opinions or judgments about people and situations

Pride of opinion: Unwilling to listen or accept correction and direction from others

For each of these problems, there is grace from God to help us overcome.

EXERCISE: 

Do a search of Scripture to find passages, stories, and texts that speak to your challenges. Also use the “Search” feature for this blog to look for resources.

ADVICE: ALWAYS be willing to reach out for help from competent persons such as pastors, counselors, and mental health professionals.

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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The Masterpiece Mindset, Part Two: Next Level Thinking

Monday, June 10, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




LISTEN TO PODCAST


Mark 12:30, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31"And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.”

What does it means to love God with all your mind? The sense of this text is that Jesus is talking about loving God with your entire being. But it is interesting that he said we love God with our soul AND mind. Isn’t the mind part of the soul? Yes. But this word “mind” used here specifically speaks to thinking.

The NT Greek word is: διάνοια (dianoia)

The mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring, understanding

“A thinking over,” a way of thinking and feeling; thoughts, either good or bad

Jesus will take you into Next Level if you want to go!



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DAY #10: Loving God in Your Thinking | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Monday, June 10, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #10: Loving God in Your Thinking


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Five ~ Creativity is a Key to a Healthy Mind
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Today’s Lesson

Mark 12:30, 'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31 "And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.”

What does it means to love God with all your mind? The sense of this text is that Jesus talked about about loving God with your entire being. But it is interesting that He stated we should love God with our soul and mind. Isn’t the mind part of the soul? It is, but this word “mind” used here specifically speaks to thinking.

There are several New Testament Greek words for "mind." The word used here is διάνοια (dianoia). It is defined as: The mind as a faculty of understanding; a thinking over; way of thinking, either good or bad.

The willingness to love God, like loving other people, changes our approach and attitude. Because I love my wife, I will go the extra mile and do anything to help her. Because I love God I am willing to make any changes and adjustments to serve Him. Along with loving God with our heart and strength, we should be willing love him with our thinking.

We don't normally "think" about thinking, so thoughts can become "loose" and unrestrained. When we plan to have guests visiting our home, we work a little harder to "straighten things up." Since the Lord lives within us, including our minds, so we should be willing to "straighten up" our thinking because of love.

Ultimately, anything we do to love God more fully, helps us to love other people (our neighbors) as well.

REFLECTION QUESTION

1. How can loving God with your mind change how you think?

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #9: The Goal of Power, Love, and a Sound Mind | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Sunday, June 09, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #9:  The Goal of Power, Love, and a Sound Mind


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Four ~ Problems We Have With our Minds
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Today’s Lesson

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline [sound mind]. 8 So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News. 9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began – to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.

Verse Seven is a passage that many of us have memorized. We quote it when we feel fearful or under some kind of attack in our thinking. The way we use this text highlights our tendency to apply Scriptures primarily to personal needs and challenges. Certainly, the Word of God is intended to help and bless us.

However, when verses seven and eight are read together, the context changes. Verse eight makes it clearer the reason that we don't want a spirit of fear, but rather "power, love and a sound mind," is so that we will be empowered to tell others about Jesus.

Regardless of the adversity that Paul faced, he continued to stay focused on proclaiming the Gospel. He encouraged leaders and believers to adopt a similar focus.

Having power, love, a sound mind, living a holy life, and knowing God's plan are provided not only to answer our cry of, "Lord bless me!" The Scriptures empower us to fulfill the mandate, "Go bless others and boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!"

REFLECTION QUESTION

1. How does serving others help you maintain a "sound mind?"

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #8: Steadfastness of a Renewed Mind | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Saturday, June 08, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #8:  Steadfastness of a Renewed Mind


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Four ~ Problems We Have With our Minds
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Today’s Lesson

Proverbs 16:3, Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

“Steadfast” is a beautiful word. It means, “firmly fixed in place; immovable; not subject to change; firm in belief, determination, or adherence.”

A steadfast life is based on walking with Christ and a renewed mind. In a troubled and unstable world, being steadfast is a virtue that makes you stand out in a positive light. Cultivating a steadfast mind and life is one of the keys to success.

The following Scriptures provide inspiration and faith in God as it concerns becoming/being steadfast.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (I Corinthians 15:58)

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah. 26:3)

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, (Romans 12:12)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me, (Psalm 51:10)

If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:23)

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked. (2 Peter 3:17)

REFLECTION QUESTION

1. Which of the Scriptures about being steadfast speak to you?
2. What specific works do you need to commit to the Lord?

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #7: Arguments In Our Mind. Testing Our Thoughts. | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”

Friday, June 07, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #7:  Arguments In Our Mind. Testing Our Thoughts. 


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Four ~ Problems We Have With our Minds
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Today’s Lesson

2 Corinthians 10:5, Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Regarding the context of this passage, some Bible commentators such as William Barclay suggest that this part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians addressed a matter specific to their criticism of Paul. Barclay writes;

Now we have come to a section of the letter which is very hard to understand--and for this reason, that we are hearing only one side of the argument. We are hearing only Paul's reply. We do not know accurately what the charges were which the Corinthians leveled against him; we have to deduce them from the answers which Paul gives. (Barclay’s commentary)

For an application of this text to our lives today, we will draw from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible:

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to screen, select, admit, and cultivate what goes into our minds. By His power, we can prevent our minds from taking a wrong turn and wandering into evil, but we must choose to focus on what is godly and good (Philippians 4:8).

Through Christ, we also have the ability to choose how we will think about what we perceive with our senses. While we have no control over some things that come into our field of vision or within our range of hearing, we do control how we will think about what we perceive or sense and how we will act on that information.

When things come into our range of sensation or perception, we must immediately evaluate them through the “filter” of God’s Word. If we find ourselves dwelling on a thought, we must ask ourselves, “Why am I thinking this? What is at the root of my thought? What will happen if I continue to think this way? Is that really the direction I want my life to go?” Never act on ungodly impulses, desires, and lusts. You can choose to think godly thoughts, act according to His will, and “do all [things] to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians. 10:31).

Dr. Stanley writes, “When things come into our range of sensation or perception, we must immediately evaluate them through the ‘filter’ of God’s Word.” This is the act of “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

An important component of renewing your mind is not only “thinking” your thoughts, but “examining” your thoughts. This is more challenging than it may seen because thinking is obviously normal and we tend to justify whatever we think.  However, these Scriptures challenge that assumption:

Proverbs 21:2, A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart
Proverbs 12:15, A fool’s way is right in his own eyes but whoever listen to counsel is wise.
2 Corinthians 13:5, Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified

“Testing” ourselves is a great exercise in self-awareness.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITY:

1. What does it look like to screen, select, admit, and cultivate what goes into our minds?

2. Take some time to “think about” your thoughts and ask yourself, “Are my thoughts consistent with the will of God? Am I thinking thoughts of love and support for others.

3. Do I imagine things that I have no way of knowing?”

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #6 One Mind: Relational or Transactional | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing Your Mind”

Thursday, June 06, 2024 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #6:  One Mind: Relational or Transactional? 


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Two ~ A Biblical View of Human Nature
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OR LISTEN BELOW



Today’s Lesson (written)

1 Peter 3:8; Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous. 

The New Testament Greek word for “one mind” is Homophron: Comprised of two words: “homo,” meaning “same” and “phren,” meaning “the mind.” The definition is: Agreeing; of one mind.

Perhaps one unexplored aspect of renewing the mind is coming into a place of agreement with others, especially with other Christ followers. The Apostle Peter called this “one mind.” In this text and context, he wrote about matters of love to include redemptive relationships, having compassion, being tenderhearted, and courteous. 

Being of one mind is a two-way street. If it becomes a one-way street, the experience is actually counterproductive to your spiritual and mental well-being. All of the virtues cited by Peter only work when they are given and received. While love is unconditional, your engagement and involvement with others is conditional. 

Your most helpful and vital relationships are relational, not only transactional. Transacting is a part of life, but you have to assess if transactional aspects of relationships are outpacing relational aspects. My wife and best friend of 45 years have a marvelous relational style relationship. There is transaction in marriage, but marriages only based in transactions do not survive. Having one mind, as it relates to the characteristics of love, is essential. We don’t have to agree on paint colors to have a great marriage! (NOTE: Controlling, transactional type people in any type of relationship rarely yield.) 

Certainly, when you’re working a job, that is transactional. However, marriage and friendship should not be purely transactional. In other words, the basis of a relationship should not amount to: “What can you do for me?” Or “This is what I need you to do for me.” Again, some transactions are a normal part of all good relationships. 

One of the best measures of the type and health of a relationship is to consider this question: “Have I expressed care and concern for the person(s) with whom I relate?” The person who services my car has never asked me, “Bryan, how are you doing? How is your father doing?” That doesn’t indicate that the person doesn’t have compassion, it’s just not the nature of a transactional relationship. Of course, the barista at Starbucks may ask “how are you doing,” but we know that question was only a customer courtesy during a transaction. 

Endeavor to have “one mind” with others, but it can’t be forced. A relationship doesn’t have to end because having one mind is lacking, you just need to know the nature of the relationship. 

Romans 12:18, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone..


REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. What is having “one mind” from the context of 1 Peter 3:18?

2. What are examples of relational and transactional relationships in your life?

3. With whom do you need to become more relational?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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